Activities to avoid before sleeping. Towards a healthy sleep pattern of your kids.
As it was previously mentioned, sleep is a major concern for many parents and a real issue on too much families, especially those with babies and little kids and even when there are certain tips available to deal with such problem, it's mandatory to avoid certain behaviours impacting negatively your family's sleeping habits, especially those of the smallest members.
Sleeping, same than any other activity requires a proper set up in order "to prepare" the brain to rest and if such setup is disturbed by any circumstance, establishing a good sleeping pattern as well healthy sleeps habits will be harder than usual.
Think about sleep as any other activity, for example: sports. You never would try to run a marathon without previous warm, otherwise your run will end early, thus before the contest you will prepare your body to assume such activity with good resting, proper nourishment and pre-run warm-up.
Well, why don't we do equally with sleep? And even worse, why don't we teach our little ones healthy sleep habits?
The lack of information tend to be the main cause, thus on this post we are trying to give some useful information to avoid negative behaviours affecting your family's sleeping pattern.
1. Avoid Lights
It's not a myth, lights disturb sleep, even the less powerfull. Inside the brain there's a small gland called pituitary which receive signal from the visual neurons in order to differentiate the day of the night, biologically speaking.
After sunset the pituitary gland is aware of the night beginning and approximately two hours later it begins to produce a hormone called "melatonin", a natural sleep inducer responsible of making us to feel sleepy.
But when the lights are on, our pituitary gland gets confused and produces not enough melatonin, making hard to get asleep.
2. Computers, video games and cell phones are not allowed
Two hours prior to sleep, computer, cell phones and any other electronic devices should not be allowed; all these gadgets overload the brain with tons of information, reactions, actions and so on; hence if you try to sleep shortly after using any computing device it's like apply full brakes running 100 miles an hour on the highway!
The brain needs some time to "slow down" and be ready to sleep, then it's mandatory to avoid over stimulation prior to sleep, otherwise it will be a hard task to complete, moreover, if we are tired enough we could get asleep but the day after we'll feel tired since the sleep quality was not good enough.
Furthermore, recent researches have confirmed that light emission from cell phones screens affect sleep negatively, such as any other light.
3. Vigorous games and sports are prohibited before sleep
Vigorous games as well playing sports increase adrenaline circulating levels. This hormone is responsible to accelerate al bodily functions, thus the required "slow down" time by the brain is not available when the adrenaline levels are high because due to adrenaline effects all brain functions are enhanced instead of decreased, making hard to get asleep.
On this regard, it's a good idea to avoid such activities at least during the last two hours prior to sleep.
4. Noises prohibited
Even when asleep our brain still remains connected to the outside no matter if we are not aware of it; on this regard when there's noises it's harder to get asleep and once we can, the brain is not able to achieve the deepest sleep phases, thus frequent awakenings are possible as well bad sleep quality.
As it was seen, sleeping is not just a given fact, instead is a complex process with its own requirements; furthermore, all the aforementioned applies to both adults and children, however the little ones are more sensitive to every negative stimuli; thus avoiding negative behaviours and encouraging good ones is the best way to build up good and healthy sleep habits which probably will last livelong.